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Master drummers and dancers explore ancient traditions

Master drummers and dancers of this renowned South Korean ensemble share unique ancient traditions at Harris Center for the Arts on March 11.

SamulNori is the name of a group of four dynamic musicians dedicated to performing and preserving traditional Korean music and dance. The name also refers to the style of music they created. Since these superb percussionists formed the group in 1978, SamulNori has sparked a renaissance in Korea’s music scene and garnered worldwide acclaim.

The Korean words ‘samul’ and ‘nori’ mean ‘four things’ and ‘to play.’ In the case of SamulNori, they refer to the four musicians playing and dancing with four percussion instruments. Founded by Kim,Duk-soo, the group’s leader and master of the Changgo (hourglass shaped drum), SamulNori has become the leading traditional Korean performance group. The ensemble performs in many configurations but usually tours as a quartet with Master Kim at the helm. The origins of their music can be traced to what is usually referred to as farmers’ band music (Nongak) and ceremonial music. It also incorporates the influences of folk and religious music (Binari) and their intricate rhythms have become quite uniquely their own.

Over the years, SamulNori has toured almost every nation in the world including France, Germany, Austria, Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, China, Australia, Greece, Italy, Brazil, Israel, the United States and so on. On tours, in addition to concerts, they have conducted extensive workshops with local musicians to impart knowledge of SamulNori and Korean traditional rhythms.

SamulNori has collaborated with many highly acclaimed musicians from around the world from a variety of styles of music, ranging from jazz to pop, and have also performed with orchestras in concertos written exclusively for them. They have taken part in many festivals including Live under the Sky in Japan, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Kool Jazz Festival, Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD Festival, the World Drum Festival, and Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC).

In addition to their busy touring schedule, SamulNori is dedicated to furthering the tradition of their unique performance techniques with classes at the SamulNori Academy of Music in Buyeo, the middle province of Korea.

SamulNori will perform at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11. Tickets are $19 to $29 with premium seats available for $39; students with ID pay $12. Tickets are available online at harriscenter.net or from Harris Center ticket office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.

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Posted by on Mar 2 2014.
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